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Judge Dumps EPIC's Ridiculous Lawsuit Trying To Force FTC To Stop Google's Privacy Policy Changes

from the not-how-it-works dept

As was pretty much expected after the FTC pointed out to privacy zealots EPIC that it had no standing to sue the FTC to force it to stop Google from changing its privacy policy, a federal court has dismissed EPIC's silly lawsuit. Without delving into the specifics of the privacy policy change, the court basically says that it has no power to compel the FTC to do an investigation. EPIC plans to appeal.

I'm really at a loss over EPIC's strategy here. No matter what you think of Google's privacy policy change (and I'm not a fan, though I think it's been blown out of proportion by some, including EPIC), pissing off the FTC (who has said it may still do its own investigation) seems like a pretty silly move, unlikely to do any good whatsoever.
In this case, plaintiff cannot point to any indication that Congress intended courts to monitor the FTC’s enforcement of its own consent decrees; the statute is devoid of any “law to apply” or “guidelines” that would signal that judicial review may be undertaken or that set out the governing standards.
Why not just let the FTC do what it thinks is appropriate. And, if you don't like Google's privacy policies... um... maybe don't use it?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    James T, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 5:18pm

    Publicity

    This was a stunt nothing more / nothing less.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Nick Dynice (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 7:01pm

    EPIC fail! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Matt T. (profile), Feb 24th, 2012 @ 7:06pm

    How about a Story?

    Mike, will you be doing a full article on Google's new privacy policy? I'd be interested to hear exactly what you think of it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 8:48pm

    They got you talking about it. Isn't that enough?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 9:06pm

    Google Hate

    This is another case of Google hate, instigated by the usual suspects (Google competitors) for the usual reasons (dislike of having to compete with Google). Isn't it about time that the haters were hit with some sanctions for being vexatious litigants?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2012 @ 3:00am

    Mike, they do not pay you THAT much do they? How on earth can someone NOT use Google???

    I agree with Matt T. Please run an article on their privacy policy and them scr*wing with Safari and Explorer to circumvent my privacy settings...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2012 @ 4:07am

    Masnick is a google/tech corps shill, naturally he is against privacy protections.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2012 @ 2:14pm

    Re:

    Wait... he says 'Don't use Google,' and that he doesn't agree with the policy changes, and... that makes him a shill? Are you REALLY that hard up?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2012 @ 3:36pm

    Epic fail.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2012 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    He can add in there the discussions that 38 or so State AGs are currently having with Google.

    Google has been teetering on the edge of having the government look much more closely at them and their business models. While Mike may mock the Google Maps decision in France, it is one of those thing that shows that perhaps not everything is right.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Niall (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 6:30am

    Re: Re:

    Yes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    John Gilmore, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 10:02pm

    Google tracks you even if you don't use Google websites

    Half of the top million websites use Google Analytics, which reports your every access to Google. Every page with Google ads on it reports each page you access to Google. Every page with Google web fonts in it reports your accesses to Google. If you make a typo in the URL box in Firefox, Firefox reports you to Google to do a search, even if you have set your search engine to something else. Before you even get a chance to type a URL, or change your privacy settings, the very first time you run Firefox, it goes out and gets you a permanent Google cookie. If you access Youtube or Blogspot, these are Google properties and report all your accesses to Google. If you use an Android phone, every keystroke you type to the browser in the URL/search bar is reported to Google, even before you hit enter and start going to the website. If you were logged in to any Google site when any of the above happens, not only did your access get reported, but also identified as coming from YOU. If you send an email and any of the recipients is on gmail, Google is recording and analyzing your email.

    Merely avoiding Google websites only eliminates about a quarter of Google's capacity to track you - and that fraction drops every time Google rolls out another initiative like Android or Web Fonts.

    Google is almost certain to have data about every Web user in existence. Their privacy policy applies, even if you never voluntarily used a Google site. They have thoroughly "mined" the computing and communcations infrastructure, and whenever you hit one of those mines, Google notices. And, of course, if NSA wants to look for you anywhere in the world, they can just wiretap Google's fibers, since Google is so likely to notice when you reappear, before anybody else does.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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